Cleadon teenager takes a drop from the top to back the unit which helped her cancer fight

A teenager has abseiled 100ft down the side of the hospital which helped treat her after a double cancer diagnosis, as she aims to hit her £5,000 fundraising target.

Tuesday, 10th May 2016, 12:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2016, 1:41 pm
Phoebe Hedley with abseil instructor Ben Ritchie before she walked down the side of the RVI in Newcastle.

Phoebe Hedley, 17, from Cleadon, was first cared for by the Great North Children’s Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, when she was 13.

After a year of feeling unwell, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called familial adenomatous polyposis, and had to have a operation to remove and reconstruct her large intestine.

A check-up two years later revealed a golf ball-sized lump in the scar tissue from the operation – a rare kind of cancerous tumour called desmoid fibromatosis.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Phoebe underwent a year of chemotherapy on the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the hospital, completing the course in September.

She was one of 47 former patients and family members who took up the Trust’s abseil challenge in support of young people facing a cancer diagnosis.

Phoebe, who has won an Diana Active Campaigner Award for her fundraising efforts, has collected £4,670 so far for the charity.

The teen, who is in remission, said: “So far I have raised more than £4,400 for Teenage Cancer Trust, but what really matters to me is spreading the word and raising awareness.

“I want young people with cancer to know that they don’t have to be scared and that there is a support network for them, and that they don’t have to face it alone.”

The hospital houses the unit, one of two in the region, which specialises in treating 13 to 18-year-olds with cancer from across the North East.

The abseil event is expected to raise in excess of £10,000.

Louise Miles, the Trust’s fundraising manager in the region, said: “We are so grateful for everyone who took part and who has donated.

“We can only achieve our goal of reaching every young person with cancer with the help of such amazing supporters like these.”

Donations to Phoebe’s campaign can be made via